Harry Charles is back on Rituel Recordings with his debut EP, a new slow tempo release, oscillating between ominous melodies, earthy percussions & melancholic vocals.
“This music was made upon the return to my homeland. In the face of a world-wide medical drama and partly written in managed isolation; It’s a tribute to the very roots of my own tree and to those who’ll dance under its branches with me.”
Hey Harry, it’s lovely to see you on the renowned Rituel Recordings, how did you come about the label and deciding to send them this EP?
My wonderful manager July connected me with Alex from Rituel. At first I released a track on their Summer Days compilation and then they went on to ask me to do an EP as well. I’d been performing a new live set during 2020 (very rarely may I add) I sent them the recording and asked if there was anything that sparked interest and these two songs were some of the ones they picked!
What can you tell us about the inspiration and production process behind this EP?
The music started out as a few different series of loops in my live set, as time went on and as I continued performing it, I slowly crafted the songs into what they are today. I flew back to NZ from Berlin and had to do two weeks of managed isolation in a hotel upon arrival, so I had plenty of time to work on the EP. Finishing a few days after getting out of Isolation
What’s up next for Harry Charles, are there some new tracks, EPs or tour plans ahead of the summer?
The plan is to continue making as much music as possible. I’m currently just writing a lot. The electronic world is so saturated with new music so i’m just trying to keep up. But this year I’d love to write an album, and go back to the roots of my singer/songwriter background. You can expect a lovely mixture of dancefloor focused music with a touch of my previous songwriting experiences. I’m also back in NZ where everything is more open than most places, so I’m going to play as many shows as possible and continue introducing this country to the downtempo sound!
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
I have so many answers for this question. Throughout the duration of my musical life, the influences have changed. But i’ll answer it in a different way and say that my inspirations come from doing what I love doing the most, which is making music. I’m inspired everytime I pick up the guitar, or touch any instrument. In that way it’s an everlasting thing, the more I continue creating the more I’m constantly inspired.
How would you describe the music you make to someone that has never heard it before?
I’ve had to do this a lot recently. I just simply say, “It’s a similar groove to techno and house music, just a little bit slower and I play guitar and sing along with it all”
Outside electronic music, what do you listen to?
This too changes quite often, but these days it’s mostly jazz and classical. It’s the kind of music that’s so complex but so blissfully enjoyable. So much beauty that’s been created, long before I was born, which is something I find quite fascinating.
What have you been up to these Covid times and what was your highlight?
While I was in Berlin during 2020 I was just making lots and lots of music. Paying shows here and there when I could, and just enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. Since returning to New Zealand i’ve been blessed to have been able to play shows, enjoy the summer and most importantly, precious precious time with my family.
Do you have a certain defined studio routine or time frames?
It really depends on what I’m doing. But most days I start with coffee and guitar. Sitting down, looping and building ideas with whatever comes to me. Other times when it’s time for arrangement and production, I dig deep whenever I get the chance. But it seems that the darker shades of nightfall help with this immensely. (I’m sure most musicians and producers out there can agree with me on this.)
Sunrise or Sunset?
As much as I love a sunrise, It has to be sunset. It’s likely that i’ll see more sunsets in my life from now on. Mostly because I’m too old to stay up all night and no sleep really destroys me! I’m also terrible at getting up early enough for sunrise. If you had asked me this question 5 years ago I may have answered it differently…
But then again if I were to play either sunrise or sunset, i’d be more than happy to blast through either one of them! Nothing like a bit of silky guitar as the sun comes up! I’ve had a couple early morning slots recently and it’s always a treat.